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ERIC Number: EJ827918
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2007-Aug
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-0075-417X
Mother-Infant Group Psychotherapy as an Intensive Treatment in Early Interaction among Mothers with Substance Abuse Problems
Belt, Ritva; Punamaki, Raija-Leena
Journal of Child Psychotherapy, v33 n2 p202-220 Aug 2007
In this article we present a novel method of outpatient care: brief, dynamic mother-infant group psychotherapy with mothers who have substance use problems. In this therapy, substance abuse treatment is part of mental health and parenting interventions. The focus is on preventing disturbance in the mother-infant relationship in this high-risk group. The clinical material is taken from 16 mother-infant dyads from six psychotherapy groups, which met weekly over six months from pregnancy to post-partum. The therapy process consists of 20-24 three-hour sessions. The basis of the therapy is to offer mothers experience of care, which they, in turn, can give to their infants. In this paper we analyse the core therapeutic elements that may contribute to better mothering and child development. They involve: the group providing a symbolic maternal lap, and the meeting of the mothers' and the infants' needs. It is hoped that this may offer the mothers a new experience within which to reappraise their early memories. This may help prevent them from projecting traumatic past experiences onto their infants. Our analyses show that in the therapy, mothers, feeling safe within the group, gradually experienced pleasure with their infants and their peers. These effects, according to the mothers, were the most noticeable. Brief dynamic mother-infant group psychotherapy seems to be a promising form of treatment for those substance-abusing women able to commit to outpatient care and examine the causes of their drug dependence. The groups may also be used as a diagnostic tool to detect problems in early mother-baby interaction.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A